Philex Mining Corporation hopes to extend the life of its Padcal Gold-Copper Project in Benguet, the Philippines, beyond 2022 through further exploration in the area around the operations.

Philex chairman Manny V Pangilinan said recently, “I think there’s continuing efforts to explore resources within the tenement. There’s a good chance that we could extend it beyond 2022.”

Philex announced last year it had identified additional ore reserves that would extend Padcal’s mine life by two years to 2022 from 2020. Padcal’s initial mine life was only up to 2014.

In March, the listed miner said it pushed back to 2018 a plan to mine the 800-600 metre level (ML) at Padcal to reduce capital expenditure this year. Based on a resource estimate, Padcal has remaining proven ore reserves of 69.2 million tonnes until the end of the mine’s life span in 2022.

Manny Pangilinan said the company’s first half financial performance was likely to be better than the same period in 2015.

“We reviewed the latest estimate for the first half. It looks like the core net income will be ahead of last year. So it’s still early days maybe to anticipate what the full year number will be but I think for the first half, it’s safe to say we’ll be ahead of first half last year.”

Philex is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co Ltd, the other two being Metro Pacific Investments Corp and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT).

Meantime, Philex said it will heed the call of the new Duterte government to benchmark its standard operations with international best practices such as in Canada and Australia.

“We’re heeding the call of the Duterte government to benchmark ourselves to international standards,” Manny Pangilinan said.

“There’s been a suggestion by the Duterte government to the mining companies that the industry benchmarks itself to standards of Canada and Australia and we took this up that Philex should lead that effort in benchmarking ourselves to international standards.”